Fusion Outsourcing has received a R28-million grant from the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), and expects to create about 600 new contact centre jobs.
The grant was made this week by Trade & Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa, and will be used to help the company, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the UK-based BGL Group, to expand its operations. It handles contact centre operations for its overseas parent company.
“We need grants like this to make us more competitive, and allow us to compete in a global market with the likes of India and the Philippines in providing contact centre solutions,” says Johann Kunz, MD of Fusion Outsourcing. “90% of the money allocated to us will go to infrastructure development, allowing us to be much more cost effective.”
That will allow Fusion Outsourcing to take on a greater volume of work from the BGL Group when required, and consider other business opportunities in the future – and do so with a bigger, better trained team.
As agreed with Dr Ray Ngcobo, during the initial consultations, and as envisaged by the DTI’s Industrial Policy framework, the grant is based on Fusion Outsourcing increasing its agent headcount to 600 over a three-year period.
“The remaining 10 percent of the grant will be allocated for staff training and development,” Kunz says. “The skills and product training will make our staff more skilled, and together with the infrastructure investments, we will be able to take on more work.
“In addition to the grant, the BGL Group has invested R140-million over the past three years in Fusion Outsourcing in South Africa."
Job opportunities created by Fusion Outsourcing are not for the current South African market but to support the UK market, and thus adding new workers to the South African economy. “This is in line with the BPO strategy which focuses on creating 100 000 jobs and bringing $2-billion of foreign exchange into South Africa,” Dr Ngcobo says.
The DTI’s grant forms part of the department’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Government Assistance and Support Programme, which targets South African businesses primed to take advantage of opportunities in the outsourcing field. The BPO project forms an important arm of the DTI’s aim, going forward to 2011, of improving South Africa’s current account deficit, and maintaining the country’s economic growth.